In recent weeks, both the British National lillelottery and the Euromillions prize draw have produced more millionaires as a result of players winning large jackpots. One lucky player in the British National Lottery for example won more than £6 million and a winner in the European prize draw received over £37 million. In other draws other players have won much higher amounts, indeed these two lotteries have between them already created several thousand millionaires. Other global lotteries have a similar track record.
Such examples create hope in many people, knowing that winning such a prize would change lives, but we have all heard of situations where suddenly receiving such large sums of money has created problems for the winners. So what should a lottery player do if he or she suddenly finds they have scooped the top prize?
1. Check The Ticket
This might sound obvious, but there have been recent examples of players thinking they have won huge amounts only to find their ticket was for the previous week or they had misread one number. The best way to do this is to check the website of the appropriate lottery administrator.
Many winners admit they have checked several sources before believing they had actually won.
2. Hold On To That Ticket
That small slip of paper is now worth money. Lottery administrators need to see the ticket so find a safe place to keep it. It does not need to be placed with the bank but somewhere secure and where you can find it easily.
Many winners simply keep it in their wallet or purse or in a hidden strong box at home. Others have found more unusual hiding places, such as in a Bible, freezer or in a clock.
The key is to be able to find it again. Imagine how you would feel if you lost a winning ticket!
Winners of smaller prizes should then take the ticket to the shop where they bought it but those with larger wins need to call the lottery administrator using the telephone number on the rear of the ticket. If you are a member of a syndicate the administrator of the syndicate will contact you.
Lottery administrator companies are generally experienced in dealing with big wins so will have a professional team ready to help you. Usually you will visit a regional office where experts will be ready to assist you.
3. Do You Make Your Win Public?
This is a key question. The largest win in the Euromillions prize draw was £161 million won by Colin and Chris Weir in July 2011. They chose to go public with their win but later had to spend some time in hiding to avoid the attention. Another winner earlier this year won £113 million and nobody knows who they were. My personal choice would be to stay quiet.